When we talk about personal finances a lot of the conversation has to do with how you handle money and thoughts around it. There’s a saying I love that goes “the way you handle anything is the way you handle everything”. It means that humans are creatures of habits and the habits you display in one part of your life show up in every part of your life, even when they seem unrelated. This means that there are some non-money behaviours we possess that impact our finances though we may not know it. Read on to see if you may relate to any of these.


I’m sure some readers would be familiar with this one. Procrastination is certainly acknowledged as a time waster and productivity killer but it may have far-reaching effects on your life. Have you ever had to make a payment by a deadline, procrastinated and then found the deadline had passed? When you finally make the payment there is a late payment penalty or in cases like DSTv a reconnection fee. This is not only annoying but can cost you a lot of money especially if the behaviour is consistently repeated.


Ever go to the grocery store needing salt and left the grocery store with full carrier bags with everything but salt? Distractions hurt you in many things in life and if you are a person who is prone to being distracted or accommodating distractions you will know how much they can throw you off track. In your finances look at the salt example I gave. So when you realise you left the store without the thing you need you will likely have to take another trip to the shop and you likely won’t buy salt alone, if at all this time.

Blame game

When things go wrong, or even before, it is very difficult for some people to accept that they have some, if not complete responsibility in some situations. Instead, people choose to play the blame game. They will blame the weather, the year and any other conceivable factor or condition. Here’s the reality of life, in some cases we contribute to the situation and in others, we can identify a point where a different decision could’ve spared us from the consequences.

Short term thinking

I don’t think this one needs that much explanation. Some decisions are easy at the moment like purchasing something on a zero per cent deposit hire purchase agreement. It makes sense, pay nothing and get it now. The long-run isn’t as much fun with constant payments which normally amount to 3 times the cash price of the item.

Doing everything yourself

This one may have the most nuance involved in it but it’s still a behaviour that may be hurting your finances. Sometimes people decide to do things themself they could otherwise engage experts for. Many will justify this behaviour by saying it’s cheaper and therefore worth it but it may not be better. If you cannot do as good a job as a professional then perhaps you haven’t saved money but got exactly what you paid for. Also, if you could allocate that time to doing what you’re good at you could earn more than it costs to get someone to do the task.

Relying on motivation

Motivation has become a whole industry. Just to be clear I have nothing against motivation, it is part of the package of life and great to have. However, motivation isn’t an ever-present quality. Some days you just don’t have it. Sometimes those days turn into weeks. Discipline rather than motivation is the key. Relying on motivation leaves you at the mercy of feelings while disciplining powers through. If your spending or financial behaviour depends on motivation rather than discipline you may find things getting difficult.

Committing to things that aren’t goal congruent

When you set your goals it’s important to check your other goals and behaviours for goal congruency. In simple terms the degree to which your goals are consistent with or help each other. The same goes for activities you engage in. If you have chosen healthy eating you might want to cancel the trip to the junk food spot altogether. Even if they have a healthy menu. When you set financial goals, how do your other behaviours help those goals?

These behaviours, if present in other parts of your life, could be hurting your efforts at getting your finances right. Do you relate to any of these behaviours? Or perhaps you have others that you can identify?